Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan has commended the leadership style and quality of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and praised the level of cooperation existing between both houses in the bicameral House of Assembly.
Speaking in Abuja while receiving the Senate President who paid him a courtesy visit, the former President extolled Saraki for defending the nation’s democracy, citing incidence of the theft of the mace and the invasion of the Senate building by masked DSS official. Goodluck Jonathan was quoted as stating:
“Senate President, let me use this opportunity to commend your leadership abilities. Looking at what is happening in the country, if not for your strong leadership, probably the National Assembly would have been in chaos and if the National Assembly is in tatters, then of course, democracy is gone.
“I am quite pleased with the kind of relationship you have with the House of Representatives members and how you have been able to hold the National Assembly together because on the day that the parliament was invaded, though the target was the Senate, the House of Representatives members were as active as, if not more active, than the senators; and that cannot happen by chance.
“What we know is that if there is an assault on the Senate. Then it is also seen as an assault on the House of Representatives. If they (House of Representatives members) don’t believe in you, I don’t think some of them would have taken that kind of risk. That commitment shows that they believe in your leadership.”
The National Assembly has witnessed two attacks recently that political commentators have points to the Executive’s desperation to change the leadership of the Senate. Lodega had reported the theft of the Senate mace during session by thugs and the subsequent invasion by armed security operatives who prevented senators of certain Political Parties from gaining access into the senate complex.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki while thanking Jonathan for his support also stated he came to officially inform the ex President of his re-alliance with the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and to pay his respect.